Maintaining your workplace to be as safe and compliant as possible is all part of the job, albeit one that you can manage from afar, and not necessarily get on your hands and knees and conduct a PAT test. Creating a Workplace Safety paradise, where all of your health and safety obligations are ticked off and in the green zone isn’t as hard, or time intensive, as you may think.
To ensure that your workplace is in tip-top electrical condition, you’ll want to make a checklist and ensure you’ve got the following ticked off:
Fixed Wire Testing
Fire Alarm Testing
Emergency Lighting Testing
Defibrillators installed and checked
You can read more about these below:
Fixed wiring, whilst hidden and mostly protected from the elements, deteriorates with time, meaning you’ll need to regularly test your entire electrical distribution system, so you can vouch for it’s safety and compliance. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 state that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury or harm must be maintained and kept in a safe condition.
Once you’ve had your fixed wiring tested, and any vital repairs looked into, you should be present with an Electrical Installation Condition Report (ECIR), which is valid for between 1-5 years, depending on your type of business. This shows that you’re fully competent.
Portable Appliance Testing, or PAT Testing, is a service design to cover your entire workplace, looking out for electrical faults, potentially dangerous electrical items and other electrical hazards that could lead to an unsafe workplace. To ensure you’re fully compliant with UK legislation, it is important to have an engineer conduct a thorough examination of your premises, checking all portable electrical appliances, and conducting minor repairs of faulty finds. Having someone repair minor faults as they go along will help to greatly cut the cost of failing and have to rearrange a new PAT Test.
Naturally over time, your fire alarms become worn out and can deteriorate. The danger of this, over any other standard electrical wear and tear, is that if they become worn out to the point of being unusable, you may only find out in the event of a fire. To comply with the Health and Safety Regulations, as well as to the standards of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, you’ll want to get your fire alarms checked – British standards recommend getting them tested at least twice a year, to ensure your system is in full working order.
Not only is it important to test them, to keep your staff, visitors and customers safe, but it is also important to collect all the standard documentation you’ll get from a test of this kind, so you can prove your compliance in the future.
Reliable Emergency Lighting is a must in any workplace, from both a safety point of view, and a legal standpoint, should a fire or power outage or other incident ever engulf your premises. We advise getting your Emergency Lighting tested and checked over at least twice a year, but it isn’t uncommon to have it done on a monthly schedule.
Each time you have your emergency lighting tested, make sure you’re assessing any changes to your premises, and that the lighting is still in the best possible, and directing people the right way. It is also important to get an Emergency Lighting Certificate, as proof of your maintenance tests.
Defibrillators in the workplace are starting to catch on, which is good news for the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer from a Cardiac Arrest every year. Whilst many defibrillators have very long life-spans before their battery needs to be replaced, it is important to check your defibrillator at least once a year, to ensure it still works, is easily accessible and have enough power to save a life, should the event arise.
Complying with all of the above should help to keep your workplace in tip-top condition, from a health and safety standpoint, and can easily be arranged to be conducted at regular intervals throughout the year, without too much admin work required in the recording, booking and arranging of the servicing. We advise accompanying the above activities with regular health and safety checks of your premises.